REF2014 results are our best ever

A message from the Vice-Chancellor:

I am delighted to be able to share with you the results of REF2014 which confirm the excellence of the research at Bath and further enhance our reputation as a leading research University.

We have performed outstandingly well:

  • 32 per cent of our submitted research activity has achieved the highest possible REF classification of 4*, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • 87 per cent of submitted research activity was graded 4*/3* (defined as world-leading/ internationally excellent).
  • Our overall GPA (grade point average, which provides a summary measure of the profile above) is 3.17.

These results place us 12th in the research quality ranking of UK universities (based on GPA), excluding specialist institutions.

We are in the top 10 of six of the 13 Units of Assessment in which we participated and in the top 20 in eleven.

Colleagues in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering should be warmly congratulated for achieving first place in the ranking for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning.

Areas of excellence include Sports & Exercise Science (5th); Allied Health (which for us covers Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Psychology, Biology & Biochemistry & Health) (6th); Social Policy and Social Work (which for us also includes Health, Economics, Education and Psychology) (6th); Business Studies and Management (8th) and Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering (10th).

Overall our scores for the reach and significance of the impact of our research show this to be a particular area of strength for Bath.

Changes since the last such exercise took place (RAE 2008) mean these results require very careful interpretation before firm conclusions can be drawn but it is already clear that in several areas we are realising the benefit of investment in our research capabilities and capacity.

Strategic initiatives such as the launch of the Institute for Policy Research and the development of new facilities for Architecture & Civil Engineering, Psychology and Management will help us to build further on our evident strengths.

We can also see that investment in other critical areas of endeavour for Bath such as Chemistry, Sports & Exercise Science and Mechanical Engineering is paying dividends.

I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who contributed to this successful REF 2014 return.  This was a challenging task and we all know how much thought and care went into it by so many colleagues across the University.

I would particularly like to thank Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) for her leadership of our Research Strategy.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE DL

Further information:

The quality profiles for all the units of assessment in which the University made a submission are available now at:

Full results for the Higher Education sector are available at:

Further information and analysis will be published on the RIS webpages as it becomes available.

The definitions used to define overall research quality are:

  • Four star - Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • Three star - Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which falls short of the highest standards of excellence.
  • Two star - Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • One star - Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
  • Unclassified - Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment.

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We are one of the UK's leading universities with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. Our Mission is to deliver world class research and teaching, educating our graduates to become future leaders and innovators, and benefiting the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence. Our courses are innovative and interdisciplinary and we have an outstanding record of graduate employment.